Category Archives: Inspiration

“Y” is for saying “Yes!” (but not to everything)

"Y" is for Yes, Sometimes

“Yes,” can be such a powerful word. When someone tells you yes to your question, it means that you are both in agreement.

It means that you are on the same side, and it allows a forward motion in both emotion and the conversation.

When my daughter asks to do something, I always try to keep an open-mind. A frequent response I have given to my kids over the years is, “I don’t see why not.” The energy those words create in them is instant and I am usually reciprocated with a smile, excitement and sometimes disbelief.

In my preschool classroom when I hear one of my students tell me “okay” after I announce something that we will be doing, I let them know that word is music to my ears. It tells me that they are listening and that they are game for the activity.

It represents the yin and the yang of my classroom; two different forces in agreement.

Think about the energy conveyed in a marriage proposal. Obviously the proposer is confident that she will say “yes” to him since he is already down on his knee asking, but there’s no guarantee. “Yes,” from her lips sparks first relief and then celebration. Such a short simple word can instill so much force inside of anyone.

As women and moms, we are stretched in so many different directions. “Yes” is a common word in our vocabulary because we know a bit (understatement) about reaching out and helping others.

When I talk about saying “yes” today, I suggest to say yes often, but with much thought behind it first. We too often stress ourselves out with saying yes too many times, and then allow it to seep into our personal lives to the extent that it negatively affects our quality of living. Who feels our stress the most? Our loved ones. We carry so many heavy duties around and taking on more than what’s reasonable can make us either implode or explode at home within our family walls.

So when you say “yes,” do it genuinely and graciously, thinking of yourself first, then of your family, and then of others.

There's no rule that says you have to say yes when you would rather say no. 

Let it be your decision when to tell someone "yes", not the decision made by your guilt-ridden conscience or a built-in obligation. Saying “yes” to yourself first will give you the ability to be more gracious to those around you.

Say "yes" to your family and say “yes” to a gracious and fulfilling new year.

 

 

The most recent list of Lunch Box Jokes is here. Print out, clip & add to their lunches.
Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" through "M" summary to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher
"U" is for utilizing 5 tools we already own
"V" is for visualize your day
"W" is for walking

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“X” is for eXpect good things to happen today

“X” is for eXpect good things

If you follow my blog, then you might know that I’m not a morning person and I begin my day sluggishly. I get up slowly, shower slowly, think slowly, move slowly and then hit the kitchen with a slightly faster pace to make breakfast and put my daughters’ lunch together.

No matter how I’m moving, I’m thinking about my day ahead.

Some mornings my head is wishing I could be back in bed, and some mornings I’m forcing myself to look forward to my day by thinking about all the good stuff that will happen.

A class full of four-year-old's is a super way to spend your day, by the way. Sometimes they have more energy than I do, but they can paste a smile on my face by just being themselves. Thinking about what will happen in my classroom that day makes me curious and engaged about getting to work.

I get sleepy hugs from my daughter first thing in the morning after she wakes up. I’m usually in the kitchen in a more rushed state by then, and seeing her arms head towards me always makes me stop to enjoy it.

Taking on my day with expectations of all of the good things that could happen is so much more inspiring than dragging myself into my day with a negative slant.

Yes, I have to go to work and yes, I have to walk the dog first thing before my eyes are barely open, but if I remind myself that later in the day I’ll have more energy to enjoy the little things, it also helps me enjoy the morning moments more, too.

Even on the days when I know it’s not going to be my favorite kind of day, I can still look forward to what I think my favorite part of the day might be, and I can also set intentions for how I want the day to go.

Imagine that you are at the bottom of your day getting ready to climb the hill, and during the climb you are going to have nice views as you go.

Eventually it will be time to climb down the other side, and there will be new sights to see as you descend. Looking forward to all of the sights and experiences your day has in store for you sets your expectations on all of the good that you can get out of your 24 hours.

We have 86,400 seconds in a day. How we use it determines how we experience it. It reminds us what a gift each day is because we are allowed to be alive and to live it in the way that we choose.

Choosing to experience the good from your day instead of the bad gives you the incentive to enjoy it and dive in with higher expectations. So even if your day begins with the news that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds have both passed, you can first mourn for them, but you can still preserve the direction of your day by looking ahead for the positive things. It’s your compass and you are the only one that holds it.

Keep your compass on good - or even great expectations.

 

 

The most recent list of Lunch Box Jokes is here. Print out, clip & add to their lunches.

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" through "M" summary to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher
"U" is for utilizing 5 tools we already own
"V" is for visualize your day
"W" is for walking

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“W” is for Walking

"W" is for Walking / ABC Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016

As a single-mom I have plenty to stress about, but I still don’t feel like I have a stressful life. There are stressful moments and episodes, but somehow my life is not a stressful one and I couldn’t tell you why not. I can guess that it’s because of my habits; when I start to get a bit frenzied, I slow my pace down. When I start to feel tired, I sleep or rest, and when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I deduct less important duties from my schedule. I also remind myself that I have gotten through all of the other stressful times in my life, and this one will be no different so I know that just pushing through it will get me to the other side.

There’s a huge difference in the way that I think during stressful times after I’ve finished my walk.

Walking calms me and my worrisome brain. It’s something that I will always make time for, no matter how short on time I am because it puts me back in that place that helps me handle my life better. I’m calmer, happier and more peaceful after a walk.

 

There’s countless articles on how good walking is for you and how it’s a great exercise and even helps get your heart rate up at the right pace, but nothing gauges how good it is for you more than the effect it has on your mind-frame after a 30 – 40 minute fast-paced walk.

When I start out on my walk I might be tense and anxious but by the end of my walk after I’ve listened to countless songs or just the quiet, everything is beautiful to me; the day, the sky, the trees, and then I feel renewed. It costs nothing and it's priceless to me. I have a membership at a gym to use the equipment, and on occasion I join other work-out regimens, but walking is what soothes. I think I even gain back some of my youth with each walk.

I wish I could do it every day like I used to, but as a single mom there isn’t always time, so I squeeze it in at some of the most unimaginable times because I’m always looking for that brief interlude of time, and I always have a set of clothes and shoes in the car “just in case.”

So “W” was an easy one for me.

Walking propels me back into my life full-force and enables me to take on more.

Think about what habit you have that works for you in the sense of bringing you back to life, and do more of it, especially if it's walking.

xo Katherine

Find my books on Amazon.com under Katherine A. Rayne. I write in support of women who want to create a life they love. 

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

"U" is for utilizing

"V" is for visualizing your day

 

“V” is for Ten (10) Ways to Visualize the Kind of Day You Want to Have

There are so many things about our day that we can’t control, but one of the things that we can control is our thoughts. When negative thoughts wiggle their way into our minds, there are ways to override them. Visualizing your day is like making intentions. The result of how our day goes has a lot to do with how we forecast it before it even begins.

Visualizing what your behavior and reactions will be throughout the day give you a positive plan of action so that you can end your day on a successful note, no matter what you might battle with during the day.

Ten (10) things to visualize about your day before it even begins:

  1. Having healthier actions. If you want to make better food choices during your day ahead, plan your meals in your head first thing in the morning and what foods you will avoid. Also make a mental note about what time you will squeeze in some exercise, whether it’s at home, at a gym or going for a walk or run, even if it’s just some lunges in your living room. Think positive.
  2. Plan on having positive reactions to any negativity that comes along and imagine how you’ll keep a positive spin on your reactions. I can spit out negativity just as easily as positivity. Be ready to spit out positive reactions to anyone and anything as it happens. Be positive.
  3. Plan to slow down long enough to connect to others, even if briefly. Think of the many moments that we rush through in a day and slow a few of them down. Feel positive.
  4. Make a mental note and visualize what two things you want off of your to-do list today and how you will fit them into your day. Checking them off will make a positive in your day.
  5. Who do you need to reach out to today that you haven’t spoken with in a while and have been meaning to call? Determine the time of day that you will be connecting with them so that it’s already a plan. Do positive.
  6. Visualize how your day will unfold. Do you need an extra ten minutes in the morning so that it will come together calmly? Envision yourself leaving the house relaxed and not rushing. Act positive.
  7. Give yourself a word to describe how your day will go. How do you want it to go? Successfully? Accomplished? Calmly? Stress-free? Label your day in advance so that you have preplanned the best way to proceed. Plan for the positive.
  8. How will you handle the stress that is on its way? Something almost always throws a wrench into your day. See yourself handling it in a calm and positive way. Embrace positive.
  9. When you get home to family after a long day, how do you see yourself being a support and inspiration to others in your home? Implement the positive.
  10. How can you envision being a support to yourself once you are home and in need of rest and renewal? Engage positive.

Pick three or four of these that relate to your day to help you begin visualizing and changing your daily outcome. If you need to write them down to help you focus on them better, use a journal each morning to write down what will be positive about you and your day ahead. Planning ahead with good intentions increases the chances that it will unfold as a positive day.

xo Katherine

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

"U" is for underutilized tools we own

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“U” is for Five Underutilized Tools We Own

“U” is for Utilize – Five (5) Underutilized Tools We Own

I’ve come up with obvious actions that I can take to make better choices for my health because I’m aware of the healthy foods available, of the outdoors waiting to be explored and the energy my body has when I treat it right, but I'm not always making those choices. I love vegetables but there’s also other things that I eat that aren’t healthy. One simple decision can send me in a healthy direction or unhealthy, and it's truly my choice. I already possess all of the tools that I need to do it, and it’s just a matter of putting them to use and to better use.

Here are five things that we already own that will lead us to an improved and healthier lifestyle:

  1. Knowledge. We don’t need to get health tips online, buy a diet book or hire a health coach because we're already educated. We know what things should be going into our mouths and what shouldn’t. We have enough knowledge right now to begin making the perfect choices. We can write a list of all of the things that we want to eat for the next seven days that will make us feel better by the end of the week and can repeat weekly. We know it’s okay to cheat once in a while because with our knowledge, we know it’s okay in small amounts. Using what we already know today will turn us into someone healthier tomorrow.
  1. Food. We have so much food available to us. Everywhere we go, there’s food. Convenience stores, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and vending machines galore. What if there wasn’t food everywhere we went? What if we had to pack a lunch, pack a snack, and get home earlier in order to cook dinner every night? If we had to work a little harder for our food, we’d put more thought and energy into it and be more aware of what we were eating. We’d enjoy it more, too. I love walking the beach any time of day but mostly in the calm mornings. I watch the birds search, dive and work for their food. Then they rest on the shore before it’s time to do it again. Rarely do I see an overweight bird on the beach (unless it’s a land roaming duck, of course) and their brains are a lot smaller than ours. Work, earn an appetite, eat, rest. We were made to do those things. We also own our own food processor. Everyone shops for the best food processor that will juice their vegetables faster, easier and with less pulp. But we already have a food processor within us that crushes, grinds and liquefies our food like it’s supposed to, and rarely does it break down. It’s called our stomach. Processing raw and healthy foods is what we were built for. Start dumping vegetables into your body and watch what happens. It’s magic.
  1. Muscles. Our muscles are the only things that get bigger and stronger the more we use them. Use all of them as often as you can. I have days that I can’t even open a jar and it’s so frustrating. I can rid myself of that frustration easily by utilizing the muscles in my hands and fingers more often so that they become stronger. Lifting weights, squishing a small ball and doing push-ups could help within a few weeks. I already have everything I need to do those things. It’s a matter of beginning.
  1. Heart. I think if we could physically see the insides of our bodies each day when we look into the mirror, we’d take better care of ourselves. We all know what a strong muscle looks like and what a weak muscle looks like. Our heart is a muscle. I know what my upper arm looks like right now, and it’s not muscular. When I’m doing my work outs, it looks so much healthier and stronger. That’s what I want for my heart; strong and solid in order to keep pumping for me. It’s much more important than my upper arm. Cardio cardio cardio. No equipment is even needed with all of the exercises we already know how to do.
  1. Brain. We function at all because of our brain. How can we work it to its full potential? Our brains love oxygen, healthy diet, exercise and knowledge. Feed it all of those things and your brain will function at a higher and healthier level.

Breaking down our life into those five (5) simple categories will help us make better choices. We have knowledge, food, muscles, a heart and a brain and those are the only things that we need to live a healthier life along with the right choices.

Having a healthy existence isn’t just for living a longer, healthier life. It enables us to have more happy moments, more energetic days and a higher appreciation for life. Make a list now of changes that you are making today in order to thrive off of your five tools.

 

Four Tickets that help you have a great day are the freebie with this newsletter. Four simple strategies to help you have a more energetic, positive day.

Here are my most recent  Lunch Box Jokes in case you haven't printed them yet.

Get to the root of who you are and to the things that you'd love to be doing. #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal for $14.99 for the paperback on Amazon and $9.99 for the ebook, helps you put your head and home in sync with you and your life so that you can begin creating and living a life that you love. #Live Simply is part memoir, part journal to get you out of distraction and into a frame of mind that helps you to focus on living a happier and more fulfilled life. It was my summer baby two summers ago.

  Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for quiet your mind
"R" is for reorganizing 
"S" is for simplifying
"T" is for being your own teacher

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into Elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

 

I watched with tears this week about the seven innocent men that aren’t with us anymore and felt sick thinking about their families while watching their worst moments being broadcast live.

We all struggled watching bad decisions being acted out, men taking their last breaths and witnessing the emotions that followed. We watched someone’s life ending yet it seemed clear from the images that it shouldn’t have happened.

Everything was so unimaginable. I forced myself to imagine how it would be to wake up one morning not knowing that I would die that day and about how much I take for granted. I thought about what I was doing yesterday at lunchtime. I was sitting at a restaurant having lunch with my daughter and her friend. We were laughing, eating and talking about the movie we’d be seeing later that night, positive that we’d be seeing it simply because we had bought the tickets. When the victims woke that day, surely they believed they’d be going back to bed that night, like we all assume every day. But during the course of a day, suddenly they weren’t thinking anything. Their ability to go to a movie, go to work, sit with family and visit friends disappeared as they lost the freedom to take a breath.

One man had just dealt with a pesky homeless man who happened to have a phone and called 911 to report him. And a man that was responsible for making sure that children were fed each day in their school cafeteria didn't know that his fate would be decided by a broken tail light.

Those deaths then created change in the lives and deaths of five other innocent men. Men who weren't wearing protective gear because they were working a peaceful protest and they trusted the crowds on this. They didn’t die because they weren’t wearing their gear, they died because of hate and pain and bad decisions.

I always try to find the silver lining in everything to better understand the why, and right now it's everywhere. There’s an outpouring of love on social media, a tribute that we feel for them and their families and that we are with them through this. We know that they were men who were loved with families and friends and we want them to know that we offer our support and love. There’s anger, but overwhelmingly there’s love and people pleading for peace and acceptance and coming together. The storm of response is showing that today and tomorrow, there is more love in the world because of it. It’s created more connection and softened so many hearts.

When tragedies occur, people from all over the globe voice their support and concern and care for the families. But even so, what is the silver lining for the loved ones?

Philando Castile, the manager of a school cafeteria, had his girlfriend and her young daughter with him in the car when he was killed. The video his girlfriend recorded after he was shot is hard to watch, but there’s a tiny glimmer of light near the end of the video. She stays calm for most of the recording but she starts to panic near the end because she’s been removed from being with her wounded boyfriend and has no idea if he’s okay. Her four-year-old daughter is off camera sitting next to her in the backseat of a patrol car. As her mom becomes more and more upset, you can hear the little girl speaking softly.

 “It’s okay. I’m right here with you.”

That glimmer of light came from a little girl who was sitting in the back of a patrol car for no reason, and who had just witnessed a police officer shoot her mom’s friend, and was now watching her mother become unglued.

The families might not ever find their silver lining, but maybe we can be the silver lining for them. We can take what a four-year-old daughter said to her mom in a time of panic and say it to them and to each another: I’m here with you, I’m here for you.

We are all here together, whether we like it or not, and I know we can do better than this.

No one should have to be sad and afraid because their skin is dark. We all have skin, eyes, hearts, blood, bones, souls and families that would miss us if we were gone tomorrow.

Never mind embracing and being more open to our differences. We need to recognize and embrace our similarities.

We can’t sit back and shake our heads. We have to say yes, we are one and we are all in this together.

I normally pass on the news, but today I’m passing on the love because of the news. These tragedies are the reason to reach out to do better and to be better. All of our tears collectively can turn into rivers of love that will run through our streets and homes and hearts and remind us that we are all silver linings.

xo Katherine www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“Q” is for Quiet your Mind

 

“Q” is for Quiet your Mind. How often do you do that for yourself?

This is a good one for me this week. I know its good advice, but to that, I say; what happens when you don’t have the time to quiet your mind? Like me. Like this week.

 

Something really important to know is that if you don’t slow yourself down, the Universe, God or your body will. You might catch a cold or the flu and you’ll finally have to lay down, or in my case you could break your cellphone.

 

I had a horacious day the other day, and I just now discovered that is not a word, but it makes the right sound and noise to describe my day. It wasn’t an end of the world kind of day but it was a long-hard-busy-no-end-in-sight kind of day that lived up to its title.

I’ll make a long story a little less long by talking about the things that matter to the story.

Mid-day, I met my ex-sis-in-law and superhero friend for a late lunch because her son was at basketball and my daughter was at dance and we were both in limbo. (Hmmmm…Limbo-Bimbo’s.) During our meal, I went to dig out my phone from my purse, but I couldn’t find it. It was so deep in that she had to call it and the vibration gave me that sense of relief that I needed. You know that feeling when you think you’ve lost your phone, or realize that you’ve left it behind at home? It’s earth-shattering.

I relayed to her in my relief that I felt my phone was more important than my wallet anymore. Everything in my wallet was replaceable, but the phone and its contents were irreplaceable. We laughed but we knew it was true.

Six more stops and three and a half hours later, I was finally putting my key in my front door. More relief came over me. It was after 9:30 p.m., and my daughter was home with homework finished, shower done, and ready to get some sleep. I couldn’t wait to get on the other side of my front door after my day. As my key turned, my phone dropped. I didn’t think anything of it because I drop it all of the time, but I’d forgotten that in order to charge my phone in the car, I had removed the cover. As I picked up my cherished possession, the cracks in the glass might as well have been a deadly spider bite. I was sick instantly.

9:35 p.m. + a friend in the hospital + a really long day + hungry + tired + a few more chores at home + a cracked phone = the straw that broke the camel’s back. Just ask my daughter. I actually cried, probably not entirely over my phone, but because of the weight of the day behind the broken phone. She was stunned. I never cry and I never allow her to see my broken camel back, but truth is better than fiction sometimes.

By morning, I felt better. My sleep had dusted away the dirt of the previous day and I was more clear-headed. We talked again about my phone in the morning, most likely because I had looked at it five times before breakfast as a habit, and even though I would see the cracked glass each time, I really was feeling better about it. I told her what I’d said to my ex-sis about how important my phone was. I’m open to signs. I told my daughter God was reminding me that my phone was NOT important…and He felt the need to drill that fact into my silly little head.

Sooooo….long story, long… :] …quieting our mind is important, to corral us through those days when we are in over our head. You already know how to get your quiet time in. You don’t need a how-to or any new suggestions because you already know what works for you.

You just need to know that you need to do it.
 
 

 

There isn’t always time, so on the days or weeks that you can’t fit your needed time in, plan ahead for it so that it’s on your horizon. Give yourself something to look forward to during those crazy days or weeks. I have a four day weekend on the horizon. I’ll be busy and I’ll be resting both, but I know that I can decompress all of the overload over the course of my cherished long weekend. And I will. It’s Thursday night and I’ve just finished a plate of gouda cheese with Cheez-it crackers (the only cracker in the house) with a glass of wine and next to me is my cracked phone that all weekend will be making me think of God. Amen to that.

 Now, Be Quiet.

And…just in case you DO need a guide on how to quiet your mind, I’ve created a Freebie AND I spent part of my cherished, badly needed weekend creating it for you, so be my guest.  These are ten ways to quiet your mind that don’t take a lot of time and can be done throughout the day.

 
 
Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

 

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“N” is for Nurture – simple and sweet

"N" is for Nurture

I remember as a kid walking into a room where my mom was and telling her that I was bored. Her normal response was that she could find something for me to do. Read: UNfun. Chores. Boring. It seemed to work…I’d go find something else to do to become unbored with.

I always had The Jungle Book record on my record player in my bedroom that got me out of a lot of bored moments when my three sisters were in three different places somewhere else. I’d put on my record and see how much cleaning I could do in my bedroom before the record ended. After my room was clean, (to my standards) I’d see how many somersaults I could do during the song. Surely I’d lay down on my bed after that and then my imagination would take over from there.

It was a really great tactic so I of course used the same one when my kids began coming to me out of boredom, but eventually I began to see a pattern and realized that when they came to me out of boredom, they weren’t really looking for something more to do. They were looking for a moment of nurturing. Or a few minutes. Or an hour. So I decided to start giving it to them right then and there.

As a preschool teacher, the age I teach needs lots of nurturing moments. They don’t have to last long…they don’t even have to be a huge sympathetic deposit of love. They just need to include some eye contact, a listening ear and a warm hug. The result is instant and they are renewed and happy to go off and play once again.

In this day of phones, I often catch myself with my head in my phone when my daughter’s having an “I need you” moment and I’m like, hold on…almost finished answering this (unimportant-can-wait-until-later) text. I look up and she’s moved passed the needy moment but I feel I’ve missed that important moment of connection that you get to have less and less as they get older and older.

You can’t do these moments at your convenience. Kids move on easily and lose interest in your advice or kind words quickly when they are 12, 13 and more. You have to be in the moment with them when it comes around. Phones kinda’ suck the life-moments out of us, but also out of our kids.

What color eyes does my mom have? I don’t know…she’s always looking down in her phone. Maybe if I call her I can ask her.

When someone says “he just wants attention,” about a child, they are right. So we should give it to him. His way of acting out or acting up is saying, “help me….I can’t settle myself on my own right now.”

Kids don’t know our stresses, nor should they, but they still have their own that will stress them out in the same way. We are their stress-reducers. Teaching them that a calm adult is always close by will give them more reasons to be calm when they aren’t close.

So what do we need in order to nurture ourselves? Slow down. Quiet the noise. Go where there’s no distractions (we all need a break even from our kids sometimes). Every time I get myself to the beach, no matter how often I go, I ask myself while I’m there why I don’t go more often. It is always so calming and rejuvenating. Making sure that we have that place to go, wherever it is, is a priority. It’s an escape. You know how men have “mancaves?” My sister recently came up with a "womancave" of her own, the first I'd ever heard of. Make sure you have a “womancave” somewhere, and use it often.

Reading over this post, it's kind of gloomy. I think it’s because I had one of those moments yesterday with my daughter at breakfast, and I can’t take it back. Hopefully writing about it will bring me out of my phone-fog quicker the next time it happens. 🙂

So how are you going to nurture yourself starting today, during today? What's going to make you feel good? Do that. I'm going to go take my shower finally, and then spend the afternoon with my girlie. <3

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for making memories last
Read the highlights of Blogs "A" thru "M"

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“A” through “M” of Better Choices

                                                                                                   I've written a blog for each letter of the alphabet up to "M" so far about evolving your life into a more creative, focused and fun way of living. And honestly, I don't put all of the suggestions to use every day, but the ones that I have consistently put to use have given me a better outlook, more satisfaction from what I can do in a day and have improved my habits. Read over my brief summaries of each blog here, and see which ones you can gain from.

A – M Highlights of the ABC Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016

A is for Accepting our existence which equals owning our burdens but not staying focused on the derailment that they cause us. Focus on and create positives in your life to offset the negative; start a hobby, call a good friend, plan something unexpected, begin a new tradition.

B is for Be You: Throw away worry (it's only your imagination, after all) so that you can stop squashing the positive thoughts waiting to happen.

C is for Create: We were created to create. The baby won’t go to sleep? Someone created the baby swing. Stuff too heavy to carry? The wheel, wheel-barrows and strollers were invented. It rains? Someone created the umbrella. Problems were fixed because one person chose to go one step further beyond being annoyed. They created a better way.

D is for Do: “Doing” leads to discovery.  We’ve mastered so many things in our life, but continuing to master new things leads us towards a constant renewal and far away from boredom and monotony.

E is for Eat/Exercise: We have something in common with SpongeBob Square Pants besides three names. We are sponges. Our body and organs absorb toxins from food and the environment. When we do strenuous activities like exercise and yoga, the movements squish those toxins out. (Rinse with waterwaterwater.) Exercise every day to keep your body and blood circulating. As for eating? Pretend that you are what you eat, because you are. Be green, strong, healthy and toxin-free.

F is for Free to Choose: The way your day will go is based on what choices you make as it progresses. Even if you are having the kind of day that you’d much rather be doing something else, but can’t, you get to choose the way you will experience it. You don’t have to wait and see how it will end, or let it end the same way that it always does. You're allowed to change it.

G is for Grit: An oyster can’t spit out his gritty grain of sand, which is really good news because it will eventually turn into a pearl. Don’t spit out your own grit. Begin the long process of turning it into something more beautiful than what it began as. Recognize the beauty that it adds to your life, not just the interruption that it makes.

H is for Higher: Don’t get stuck on the same step as your challenges. Go higher than the challenge to see what else is there waiting for you while you deal with it.
 
I is for Intelligence Preservation: Being open to new experiences has been proven to preserve fluid intelligence. Do things differently than how you’ve always done them. Keeping rejuvenation a part of our being is good for us.

J is for Just Dance: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” -G. K. Chesterton   
Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Use laughter as medicine. Increase dosage as needed.

K is for Kick the Crap to the Curb: Keep a Promise Journal. Each morning, write down what promises you are making to yourself that day that will keep you far away from “crap-traps” like the wrong food and bad habits.

L is for Look for the Lesson: When you are having a conversation with yourself about whatever mess or challenge you are dealing with, stop and ask yourself, “what is the lesson I’m supposed to learn here.” There’s always a lesson and there’s always a silver lining.

M is for Make Memories Last: Create a Memory jar (Memory Jar Guide here) or document special moments by writing one sentence down at the end of every day about it and the date that it happened. When the end of the year comes, you can read and relive each moment.

When you wake up each day, remind yourself of the great day ahead and plan how you will make it great. Ask yourself early in the day what it is that will make the day great, and go do it. 

See you next time with "N." Right now it stands for Not sure what it will be about, but that's just me. If you want to read the previous blogs in full, they are below. And please share me with others if you think they could use a jumpstart to creating a life they love. 

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

  

“M” is for Eight (8) Ways to Make Memories Last

"M" is for Eight (8) Ways to Make Memories Last

Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.  -Kevin Arnold

 
Laundry is boring, but I do it over and over again. Most of the time you can find me doing it on the weekends with earphones on and my favorite music playing in my head. When I’m old and gray, I will probably look back on the memory of laundry, not as dull and monotonous, but as entertaining because of my music. I think making memories last will come easier if we tie fun into them.
 
I didn’t take anywhere near enough photos of my kids as they grew. I took many shots of my son while living special moments with him. With my daughter, I wanted to suck them up in a different way, by just being and watching instead of jumping up and getting my camera each time she did something that I wanted to remember. Then came phones with cameras. Now I take candid photos often and store them away for a glimpse any time I want. They are always there staring back at me and reminding me of the moments.
 
As time passes, things become less important, and memories become more vital and endearing.

Here are eight (8) ways to make them last:

  1.  Journal. I say this often for lots of reasons in many of my blogs. Journaling brings you closer to feeling the memories, reliving them, and embedding them further into memory. Even if you don’t like to write, (even I don’t like to take the time needed to journal daily), write a paragraph or two every couple of days of special things that happened. Writing them down stores them so that you can go back to them again and again. 

 

  1. Document. If journaling isn’t for you, have a notebook at your bedside and write one sentence at the end of each day documenting your favorite moment of the day. They may not be dramatic or exciting moments, but to sift through your day for “good” things is a healthy practice before bed and a double benefit to store it away to be remembered again.

 
 

  1. Photos: Whenever my family and I have a get-together or outings, we are so engaged in each other that we often forget to take photos. Such a waste! Take photos, even just a few. If you are tired of the same posing, boring, say-cheese shots, make it interesting. At our last dinner out with my sisters, I took a picture of my birthday sister through my wine glass. Double loves; wine and my sis together in one.

 

  1. Photo Story. I have a super young-at-heart aunt who is dealing with dementia, but we still get visits from her and my uncle once a year, but less and less because trips are becoming more difficult for her. During one of her last visits, I took her to the botanical gardens and used my phone to take countless photos of her genuine smile and silly poses that she is famous for. We went right to the drugstore afterwards to develop and print out our photos so that I could share them with my uncle, remember the day, and so that she’d have a souvenir of a day she might not remember. It was a special day for me to have her all to myself and enjoy her humor and wit that she never loses, even after losing some of her memory.

 
 

  1. Memory jar. Even if you don’t do this every single day, keep the jar out for all to see and be reminded of with a pen and plenty of pretty slips of paper to write on. Encourage everyone to add to this jar regularly, including guests when they visit. When the end of the year comes, you get to relive each moment together by reading them out loud.

 

  1. Talk about special moments. Even if you don’t write them down, discuss the best part of your day with family (vs. the failures, the bumps, the problems) to remember them longer. Reiterating them and talking about them will embed them into memory better than not discussing them at all.

 
 

  1. This one’s hard for me. I really love to shop. Retail therapy really does work for me, but I’ve found creating experiences is a better choice and place for my money. I may or may not remember the excitement of finding a great bargain, but doing something fun either by myself or with family and friends is the memory I will keep longer.

 

  1. A road trip, even if it’s just to the next town for the day. Think of a place that you have wanted to see, or haven’t seen for a while and just go. Take lots of photos. Start a road trip journal (there’s that word journal again).

 
Do more of the things that you love, and keep doing them. For me, that doesn’t include laundry, but the music is what I love. Jot down (in your journal, if you must) things that you love to do. Start checking them off one week at a time. Make sure that you plan a life of creating memories for your heart.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.